Last Thursday after finishing up the hardest pilot exam and check ride EVER, I headed down to Harbour Island, Bahamas for the first time. I’ve been to the Bahamas before – Man-O-War and the Exumas, but this was the first time to the brightly colored Harbour Island that I had heard so much about.
Getting to the island commercially can be a bit of a longer journey, it includes at least two planes, a taxi and a ferry over, but luckily I flew straight from Greenville to North Eleuthera, and then hopped on the ferry. The ferry was $5 per person (cash only) and you just jump on whichever one is at the dock at the moment. Upon arrival, we rented one of the Fruit Golf Carts as recommended by Momma Owens (if you’re new here, that’s my best friend’s mom, who has been to Harbour Island and pretty much every where else at least twenty times). There are a few golf cart rental options on the island, but like she told me, they all look the same except for the fruit ones. If you rent a normal one you are 1/50 and you’ll spend twenty minutes jumping into other people’s carts trying to start them up before you remember which one is yours. If you have a fruit cart, you’re the orange or the strawberry or the banana and you’re the only one around.
My home, Touchstone Harbour Island, was a short five minute golf cart journey down the road from the dock. Located on an acre and steps from the famous ‘Pink Sands’ beach, I could not have been in a better location. The VRBO listing notes that it’s ’70 steps’ from the beach, but it was closer than I ever imagined. The path is right next to the driveway and you can hear the ocean waves crashing at night. There are also chaise lounges just waiting on you, so you only need a towel and a cold drink for your short walk.
The home was recently renovated by surfer girl Karina Petroni and her seaplane flying hubby. The home is also referred to as ‘Rosie the Pilot’s’ house. Rosie, the former owner, was the private pilot for Jackie O. A wooden propeller hangs in the kitchen and a sign denoting ‘Bahama Alpha’ is right outside of the front door.
Coral tile from Havana cover the floors throughout the home, and cute corners include multicolored bottles Rosie found in the ocean, the owners’ surfboards, and a bar with all of the vibes of a good cocktail. Roosters roam the property and conch shells along the path remind you of those fritters you’ve been dying to try.
Since I visited in August, the island wasn’t busy, but some of the hotels and restaurants were closed. I was the only one on the beach some mornings and that was the best part. My recommendations are going to be a mix of places I actually ate, and ones that so many people told me to try that they have to be good – but unfortunately were closed starting around mid-August and reopening in November.
Where I ate:
Queen Conch (lunch) – watch the staff pull conch straight from the ocean for some amazing conch fritters. The fried fish is also good. They only take cash, so make sure you bring enough for some Goombay Smashes.
Blue Bar – located within the Pink Sands Resort, the Blue Bar is right on the sand with the best views.
Acquapazza – inside the Romora Bay Resort, Acquapazza had great views of the harbor side of the island and great Italian food. This was one of the busier restaurants that I visited, they stay open year round.
Cocoa Coffee House – across from Valentine’s Marina, this was my morning spot for coffee and açaí bowls. Their second story porch has great views, and wifi.
Harry O’s – a local spot right next to the Queen Conch. I went for lunch on their back deck and had grilled lobster.
Rooster Tail Bar & Grill – located at Valentine’s Marina, this bar faces the water and is a great place to grab a drink after coming off the boat.
What was recommended:
Sip Sip – apparently THE place for lunch, I really wanted to get my hands on their lobster quesadilla.
The Rock House – seafood and a great view, but also closed in August.
The Landing – recommended by a friend who lived on the island for years!
The Dunmore – if not for the great food, the decor is killer from photos. Sad I missed this one!
Ocean View Club – I stopped in and saw how amazing it was (again, killer decor) and spoke with the owner. I’ll definitely be back to visit!
On Saturday I did a half-day boat tour and that was without a doubt the highlight of my trip. Captain Jack from Bahamas Ocean Safari took us to see the Spanish Wells pigs (that he owns), jump off of a cliff, spearfish for dinner (caught five fish and nine lobster) and to a few small islands to hang out. The tour by far exceeded our expectations, and I loved spending the day on the water. Be sure to book with him! (cash only)
I visited a few shops, Dakes and Blue Rooster, which are right next to the grocery store – Pigly Wiggly. Make sure you spell it right when you’re trying to find it, it’s just one G in Pigly! I laughed so hard after I finally found it, I had to buy a canvas shopping bag with the name.
I loved Harbour Island, and I can’t wait to go back and see everything we missed!
Any questions about the island, leave them below!